Calgary-born, Toronto based artist Kayla Polan is a multidisciplinary artist working across traditional and new media. She graduated with Distinction from the Ontario College of Art & Design University with a BFA major in Drawing & Painting. Her practice melds feminism and popular culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, fetishism, domesticity, queer identity, autobiography, and consumer culture through painting, sculpture, printmaking, and performance. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the Spark Box Studio Emerging Artist Award. Her work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Canada and Europe. 

For inquiries:
Instagram: @kaylapolan


Kayla Polan (b. 1994, Calgary) 

2016          Bachelor of Fine Art, Distinction, Major Drawing & Painting, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada 
2015          Florence Off-Campus Studies Program, OCAD University, Florence, Italy 

2017          Emerging Artist Residency Award, Spark Box Studio 
2016          Anne Adler Kagan Award, OCAD University 
2014          Aboveground Art Supplies Scholarship, OCAD University 
2014          Sandy McQueen Memorial Scholarship, OCAD University 
2013          Melville P. White Scholarship, OCAD University 

2017          X, Y & Zed, Featured Exhibition of Nuit Blanche, Glory Hole Gallery, Toronto, ON
2017          Fermenting Feminism, Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Toronto, ON (on view until November 26)
2017          YYZ Lab Residency Open House, YYZ Artist's Outlet, Toronto, ON
2017          Works For Change, Screening & Exhibition of "This Art Works" by the Madeleine Co., Featured Artist in Episode 1, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON 
2017          Vacancy, Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container, Featured Exhibition for Nuit Rose Festival, Toronto, ON 
2017          Embodied Resistance, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016          Political Candy, The Pendulum Project, Studio 223A, Toronto, ON
2016          This Is Not For You, 170 Spadina, Toronto, ON 
2016          Feminist Art Conference Residency Open Studio, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto ON
2016          GradEx, 101st Annual Graduate Exhibition, OCAD University, Toronto, ON 
2016          Festival of the Body, Annual Figure Exhibition, OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON 
2016          Love Me Do, Yellow House Gallery, Toronto, ON
2016          Ryan Gander Nomadic Resident Student Exhibition, OCAD University Ada Slaight Gallery, Toronto, ON
2015          40, i nuovo 20 (Forties Are the New Twenties), OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2015          Nuit Rose, A Festival of Queer Art & Performance, The 519, Toronto, ON 
2015          Prospettiva, OCAD University Studio, Florence, Italy 
2015          B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Beamer), Angie's Pub, Florence, Italy 
2015          Art Clash, California State University International Program, Florence, Italy 
2014          Open Studio, OCAD University Studio, Florence, Italy 
2014          Contrapuntal, Mayday Club, Florence, Italy 
2013          iCiCiC, First Year Student Exhibition, OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2013          First Impressions, OCAD University, Toronto, ON 

2017          Emerging Artist Award Residency, Spark Box Studio, Picton, ON 
2016-17    YYZ LAB Artist Residency, YYZ Artist Outlet, Toronto, ON
2016          Feminist Art Conference Residency, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, ON
2016          Nomadic Residency with Ryan Gander, OCAD University, Toronto, ON

2016          GAL's Third Annual Auction, Girls Art League Art, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, ON
2016          Art Attack!, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, ON 

2017          Tools, Toys, and Tricks of The Trade: Redefining the Domestic Sphere, Artist Talk & Panel Discussion, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016          We Are What We Fear: On WW2 Germany & the Systematic Oppression of Identity, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2014          Research as Practice, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON 

2017          Faculty of Art, Class Assistant, Project Lead on Yorkville Village Arts Festival, OCAD University, Toronto, ON 
2017          In-House Graphic Designer, Blitz Print Lab, Toronto, ON
2016-17     Gallery Programming Committee Member, Lakeshore Arts, Toronto, ON 
2016          Artist Assistant, Rebecca Belmore, Nuit Blanche, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
2016-17     Artist Assistant, Jennie Suddick, MFA, Toronto, ON 
2016          Museum Attendant, Crazy Dames Exhibition, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON 
2016          Events, OCAD University, Toronto, ON 
2016          Events, Feminist Art Conference, Toronto, ON 

2017          Canadian Art, “Must-Sees This Week: September 14 to 20, 2017", 2017
2017          Unframed NY, “Interview with Kayla Polan”, 2017
2017          Format Magazine, “20 Contemporary Painters With Gallery-Worthy Portfolios”, 2017
2017          CBC Arts, “This Art Works! ‘Doctors Against Intolerance’ and Normalizing BDSM with Sculptures”, 2017
2017          The Drake Blog, “Studio Visit With Akin Artist Kayla Polan", 2017
2017          Discount Magazine, Issue II, Food Edition, 2017
2017          Milkweed Zine, Issue III, Privacy and Visibility Issue, 2017
2017          Dirty Laundry, “50 Shades of Kayla Polan”, 2017
2016          Off the Wall Artists, “Off the Wall With Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016          The Pendulum Project, “A Conversation with Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016          OCAD University, Seek Forward, Drawing & Painting Fourth Year Catalogue, 2016

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Kayla's painting "6 Tips on DIY Pickling & Other Cleaning Conundrums" is being exhibited at the Fermenting Feminism group show at Critical Distance in Toronto until November 26th. Fermenting Feminism was named a Must-See show by Canadian Art. A publication about the show, including an interview with Kayla, will be released following the show. 

Kayla will be exhibiting new sculpture work at the Akin Vitrine Gallery in January 2018.

Kayla will be showcasing her work at the Artist Project, Toronto, in 2018 as part of the Untapped Emerging Artist Competition.

Kayla was invited to do a five week residency at Struts and Faucet in Sackville, NB from April-May 2018. 

Kayla's print series "Always You!" is being debuted at 2/Edition, the Toronto International Art Book Fair, at both the Bunker2 and Akin Collective tables from October 27-30th. 

Kayla's new work "Chaste Grater" is exhibited at the "X, Y and Zed" group show at Glory Hole Gallery in Toronto. This is a featured exhibition of Nuit Blanche.

Kayla was interviewed by Unframed NY in August.

After receiving the Spark Box Studio Emerging Artist Residency Award earlier in 2017 and completing a corresponding residency, Kayla decided to go back to Picton, Ontario for a second printmaking residency at Spark Box Studio in August.

The Madeleine Collective featured Kayla's work in Episode 1 of their series "This Art Works", in partnership with CBC Arts & OCAD University.

Participants of 2016/17 YYZ LAB Artist Residency exhibited at YYZ Artist Outlet at 401 Richmond in Toronto in July.

Kayla exhibited at Bunker 2 Gallery's group exhibition "Vacancy" June 8 - July 9 2017. This is a featured exhibition in the Nuit Rose Festival.

The Drake Art Blog visited Kayla at her studio for an interview about her work and the Akin Collective Pop Ups at The Drake Hotel, and The Drake 150.

As the recipient of the Sparkbox Studio Emerging Artist Residency Award 2017, Kayla finished a printmaking residency at Spark Box Studio in Picton, Canada.



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